Ministers have been wheeled out today defending Iain Duncan Smith’s workfare-based Work Activity scheme, to be announced later this week, to ‘get people back into the habit of working’ (in the words of Danny Alexander), or to get the message across to people of ‘play ball or it’s going to be difficult‘ (in the words of IDS himself).
There’s probably not a great deal to be said that hasn’t been said already in 1,400+ comments on the original Guardian write-up of the story, but I do note the Archbishop of Canterbury’s intervention arguing quite clearly that we’re not all in this together, and that the scheme could end up plunging people into a ‘downward spiral of uncertainty, even despair‘.
When I see comments likening Church of England clerics to Marxists, I’ll know we truly have arrived back in the 80s.
In the meantime, following Nicola Smith’s work for the TUC pointing out that Gideon’s example of families on £104,000 in housing benefits applies to just three families, perhaps someone could point out to the reality TV generation who seem to be in charge of policy these days* that ‘Shameless‘ is a d-r-a-m-a, not a documentary.
* Not IDS; I know he has form in the last Tory government (before anyone shouts!).